Sorry the picture isn't better - it's from the Craigslisting we found her on. Yes, this makes 12 goats. (8 to go! :lol:)
See......OK, we have 2 PB Nubian does. I'd had a....pricking, I guess you'd call it, for about 2 weeks now, that we needed another Nubian milker. It wasn't the overwhelming need I had with the chickens or the other goats (which wasn't as bad - I think the goats were Sweet Geek's test), but...it was like making a mental note to pick up dish soap the next time you're at the store, then when you get there you can't remember the *what*, you just know you need *something*.
We talked to our mentors, but the feeling I got was that they really don't want to sell any more of their Nubians. Fair enough - they've been working on these bloodlines for years, and they're almost where they want them. I get that...but I still had this feeling that we needed another doe.
I looked at the Dairy Goat Info sales page....but nothing really jumped out at me (There were none "local" to us...the closest were 3 hours away, and Sweet Geek said no.). I looked at the Homesteading Today barter board..and, again, nothing. So, with great trepidation, I hit CL.
The problem you run into with most casual goat owners is one of disease. There are 2 major worries in goats - CAE and CL. CL is basically abscesses - horrible, and spread like wildfire. It attacks the lymph nodes, and is a nasty disease. CAE is basically goat AIDS - it's spread by milk. *Most* folks - that aren't serious about goats as business - don't know about either one.....and this is bad. Our goats came from a clean, closed herd - I didn't want to bring something in that could devestate our herd.
This ad didn't say much, just that she was a 5 week old doeling, bottle-fed. I found another ad by the same folks - only it had a website(the name is...unfortunate). So....I visited.
The front page says that they practise CAE prevention, and that the herd is tested "regularly" for CAE/CL thru WSU. Cool! Only....what do *they* mean by prevention?
The best prevention (besides have a totally negative herd) is to be there at EVERY birth, remove the babies the moment they hit the ground (don't even let the mama lick them), and feed them heat-treated colostrum (then milk) from negative does. Some people are there at birth and remove the kids, but feed heat treated colostrum from pooled milk - meaning that there might be some positive milk in there (or from the kids' own mother...) - IF you do it right, there should be no problem, but if you get the temp wrong or don't hold it long enough, well....the virus lives on and infects ALL the kids that drank that batch. So....what, exactly, did these folk *do*?
We called and set up an appointment. Got there about 7 last night - he had just tattooed 3 kids. He showed us his milkers, his kid pen, his bucks..then kinda casually said "Over there are the positives". :alarm:
O.....K. I took a deep breath and bombarded him with questions. His answers did soothe me: They lute EVERY birth (induce), so that they are there when the kids hit the ground. They pull ALL kids - even from the negative mothers. They heat-treat the NEGATIVE colostrum only (and milk), and that gets fed to all the kids. They test every 6 months, with Bio-Tracking and WSU. They do show - but are scrupulous about cleanliness and safety. The positive girls are kept in a separate pen about 15 feet away from the bucks, and there is NO contact with the kids. The reason he HAS positive does is for the bloodlines - these are well-bred animals that just happen to have CAE.
Now then. The folks on the Dairy board are fanatics about CAE prevention. I get that. I also get that up until about 10 years ago, CAE was simply expected to be in your herd. (My copy of Raising Dairy Goats even says something like "CAE is in probably every herd, and it's no big deal" - I paraphrased that, but there is no alarm or anything.) Here's the deal - the milk is safe for human consumption. The goats are generally non-symptomatic - what happens is that their knees will swell, or their udders will get congested. I don't think that quality of life is an issue until that point....but I still don't want it in my herd.
Inara? Is from a negative mother. (And father, but that's not a big deal, since 99.99% is transmitted thru the milk)
She has some really nice milking bloodlines - Pruittville on her father's side, KJ Farms on her mother's. She is a very flashy girl - you can't really tell in the photo, but she's 3-colored. (And green, right now, from the tattoo ink....:lol:) She has a nice udder arch - but we really won't know about her udder until she freshens. Still, her mother has a really nice udder, and Pruittville has been breeding for milk for years.
And, to top it off - while we were driving home with her, he called me back to tell me her Corid treatment dates, her Tetnus vaccination dates, when she was disbudded, and her mother's last CAE test date. THAT impressed me - most goat-folk around here have NO clue about *anything* related to preventative care.
Now, all that being said, we will be testing her (and the rest of the herd, I think - it's up to Sweet Geek) after breeding this year. IF (Yah forbid!) we have any positives, we'll re-test. IF we have any then, we'll induce, take the kids, practise proper prevention, and discuss what to do with the positive animal. (We are dam-raising right now, because our goats ARE negative. I'd like to continue that - we don't plan on selling, so prevention isn't an issue right now.)
We're going to register her and Calvin this weekend, and get our other 2 Nubians transferred to us. I'm also going to try to get better photos - but it's supposed to rain. Again. All weekend. I might make soap, instead...:lol:
So....yes, it's all Sweet Geek's fault. He didn't try to talk me out of it, he didn't argue about driving out there, and he asked a whole bunch of questions while we were there. :lol: